Category Archives: Vacation

The Stuff You Should Travel With

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I know summer is the time when a lot of people travel – they go abroad, they go to hot destinations (which I’ve never understood personally – Toronto is freaking hot enough during the summer, I don’t need to add MORE degrees on the thermometer thanks!), etc. But for me, the spring and fall seasons are when *I* like to travel. I feel like it’s a more comfortable temperature and I can do a wider variety of things. So these products are all the reasonable things I bring or WISH I had brought (we’ll get to that in a moment) with me while travelling.

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The Random Basics I NEVER Remember To Bring (But Should!)

  • Alright, first up, one of the things I struggle with the most is a hair dryer and flat iron in European countries. I actually FRIED not only my flat iron, but also my hair on my most recent trip to Iceland back in April because the stupid flat iron decided to turn to inferno levels of heat even while plugged into the massive converter. While I still haven’t been able to find an easily accessible dual voltage flat iron for this post, I gotta tell you guys – GO  GET ONE. It’ll save you the heartache of your burnt ass hair (which I’m still dealing with!). On the plus side, I did find an amazing dual voltage mini blow dryer by Sephora. It’s $33 CAD on their web site and it has a knob that you turn that changes the voltage. You’ll still need a plug converter, but at least you don’t run the risk of lighting the place on fire (always a bonus). Despite what their web site shows, this blow dryer is TINY, but it packs one hell of a punch!
  • Also randomly handy? A trousse of nail tools (also by Sephora). I was sent this product in a PR box and not being a nail person I thought nothing of it. And then, for some unknown reason, I threw it in our luggage for Iceland and it turned out to be handiest thing EVER. Snag or break a nail? Need a random string cut off your shirt? Sharp implement needed for some other unknown reason? This kit has you covered. It also zips up compactly so you’re not left digging for tools at the bottom of your bag. Goes for $25 CAD at Sephora!
  • And lastly, we have the incredibly Travalo that people have been talking about for years… with good reason. This mini atomizer is perfect for decanting your favourite perfume into its tiny body for travel. You pop the top off your perfume bottle, slot the bottom of the Travalo onto it and pump it until it fills up with your desired scent. No more carrying around enormous clunky (albeit pretty, if not ridiculously extravagant) bottles of perfume with you on vacation! I find Travalos at my local drugstore in the $5-8 price range.

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The Stuff That Keeps You From Smelling Like a Wilde-beast

  • If I can get all of my products into a squeezy tube or pump bottle container, I’m a happy camper. I pick up colourful empty squeeze tubes from the drugstore (NOT the bottle kinds!) and dump in my currently being used shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. Or, if you have them on hand, grab those tiny freebie samples you get at drugstores and/or holiday minis!
  • If you don’t want to cart a bunch of minis around with you for body wash, another alternative is to grab a new bar of your favourite soap and treat it as a disposable. More often than not, I’ll bring a brand new bar of soap with me on vacation and I’ll use whatever I can while I’m there, and then just junk it afterwards. Bars of soap aren’t expensive, so you don’t feel like you’re leaving a pricey product behind AND you don’t have to bring anything back with you! My favourite bar soap is always going to be Lever 2000 and I’ve been using it since my teens.
  • Moisturizer with sunscreen is an easy one for those who are going to be outside often. I’m not always a fan of sunscreen in my moisturizer if I’m playing sports, but for day to day wear, Aveeno‘s Daily Moisturizers are a must have. The pump top also comes with a swivel so you can lock it off – saves worrying about spillage in you bag later on.

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The Random Bits and Bobs

  • You will not catch me on vacation without Q-tips. And yes, I use the brand name because I feel like the cardboard wand is just that must sturdier than other brands I’ve used in the past. This small travel pack was swiped from my mother’s cabinet when I moved out of the house when I was 19 years old and I’ve held on to it for dear life ever since. This little baby has travelled everywhere with me! Long live the Q-tip!
  • I use Gillette‘s Venus razor on the regular, so I was SUPER happy to find the tiny Venus Snap version a few years back at the drugstore on clearance for a couple bucks. I don’t know why more people don’t talk about and/or use this tiny little razor. It fits the regular Gillette heads and it comes with its own carrying case that has little whole to help ventilate the razor. It’s small, compact and sturdy. If you see this – just buy it, you won’t regret it. I also skip on shave cream while on vacation and just use my conditioner since it works just as well as any shaving cream I’ve every tried!
  • I’ve long hated the toothbrush travel tubes where the top always seems to come off the base, so I was really happy when I was sent a Steripod last year and I’ve continued to buy and use them ever since. It’s a small clip on disinfectant/protectant clasp for the head of your toothbrush and I *love* it.

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The Sun Protection

  • If you’re going anywhere hot, for the love of god, bring some sunscreen with you. I’ve been blazing through my Sun Bum and Hawaiian Tropic sunscreens this summer so they’re at the forefront of my thoughts. I’ve also thrown in the Sun Bum Cool Down lotion in there because if you do happen to catch too much sun, this product had the HIGHEST concentration of aloe in it, even when I compared it to my green aloe gels!

And I *think* that covers it all. Just for fun, tell me in the comments the one item you wish you had brought on your most recent vacation, but didn’t!

Since I know everyone's always curious what was and was not sent to someone for a roundup post, here are the items that were sent to me for consideration: Sun Bum & Hawaiian Tropic, Steripod, Travalo & the Sephora items.

My Vacation in Pictures: Wisconsin 2015

This post is looong overdue! I had meant to get it up shortly after we got back from our vacation but time escaped me. So, a month later, please enjoy some pictures from our trip to Wisconsin for Christmas and New Year’s. 🙂

Day 1 - Christmas Day, hilly run, family.
Day 1 – Christmas Day, hilly run, family.
Day 2 - State Capitol, downtown Madison, Hop Cat, museum
Day 2 – State Capitol, downtown Madison, Hop Cat, museum
Day 3 - Grandfather in law's memorial in Sheboygan
Day 3 – Grandfather in law’s memorial in Sheboygan
Day 4 - Ulta, Culver's, snowstorm, sledding in the backyard
Day 4 – Ulta, Culver’s, snowstorm, sledding in the backyard
Day 5 - Wollersheim winery, spa (not pictured)
Day 5 – Wollersheim winery, spa (not pictured)
Day 6 - Taco Twednesday at Aztlan Mexican Grill, caaaaats!
Day 6 – Taco Twednesday at Aztlan Mexican Grill, caaaaats!
Day 7 - New Year's Eve at an old timey arcade, Star Wars pinball!
Day 7 – New Year’s Eve at an old timey arcade, Star Wars pinball!
Day 8 - New Year's Day Dash (5 mile race) in Middleton, snowboarding/skiing at Tyrol Basin
Day 8 – New Year’s Day Dash (5 mile race) in Middleton, snowboarding/skiing at Tyrol Basin

Not pictured:  the 12 hour drive on both sides of this trip! 😉

Travel Makeup Bag: Holiday 2015

Travel Makeup Bag: Holiday 2015

Yesterday, on Christmas Eve, we traveled from Toronto all the way over to Wisconsin for the holidays. We drove (well, I’m writing this in advance and yet I’m referring to myself in the future… so this is weird) the 11 hours or so it took to get to Wisconsin and brought the cats along with us. By the time you’re reading this on Christmas Day, we’ve hopefully made it safe and sound and I don’t want to strangle Kolme (she’s a howler when we travel). We’ll be staying with my husband’s family near Madison for Christmas and New Year’s, and I *pray* they get snow because Toronto sure doesn’t have any!

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow and Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow and Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons

Two of the palettes I’m bringing are the brand new Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons and my Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow.

Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow and Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons
Charlotte Tilbury Filmstar Bronze & Glow and Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons

The Too Faced Bon Bons is a bit of a risk because I’ve barely played with the palette yet so I don’t really know what kind of looks I can come up with. It’s quite neutral which at least makes it fairly easy to play with while on vacation. The Charlotte Tilbury duo is going to be my only highlighter and bronzer on this trip. I like bringing more expensive products to use around Christmas time because it makes me feel kind of fancy. 🙂

Charlotte Tilbury Vintage Vamp
Charlotte Tilbury Vintage Vamp

The only other eyeshadows I’m bringing are in my Charlotte Tilbury Vintage Vamp quad. If you saw my makeup tutorial on Wednesday, you’ll know that I love pairing these kind of darker cranberry shades on my lids throughout the holidays!

House of Lashes falsies in Noir Fairy and their lash glue
House of Lashes falsies in Noir Fairy and their lash glue

And of course, what’s the holidays without some dramatic lashes? I’m bringing along my Houses of Lashes lash glue and a pair of their lashes in Noir Fairy. They’re already cut down to size since I’ve worn them before so I needn’t worry about trimming them while on vacation.

Illamasqua Skin Base in 6.5 and the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer
Illamasqua Skin Base in 6.5 and the Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

I say this every time I bring foundation on vacation, but I’ll say it again regardless… I haven’t a clue if I’ll even wear these. I’m not generally in love with foundation as I find I just want to tear it off my face after about 8 hours or so (it has nothing to do with the foundations thesmelves, just the general feeling of having paint on my face). I like the Smashbox primer because it’s tiny and works well, and the Illamasqua Skin Base is lovely to wear but doesn’t get enough use in my collection so I thought I’d bring it along as well.

The Body Shop - Shimmer Spray in Silver
The Body Shop – Shimmer Spray in Silver

And what’s the holidays without a little bit of shimmer spray?? Smells like vanilla and spews out silver shimmer… I loooove it!

Clarins Rosy Nude, MAC Russian Red, Too Faced Melted Berry and Bite Beauty's Maple Agave Lip Mask
Clarins Rosy Nude, MAC Russian Red, Too Faced Melted Berry and Bite Beauty’s Maple Agave Lip Mask

I never ever feel like I bring enough lip products when I travel because I swear I’ll get there and wish I brought different items! My Clarins Rosy Nude is a perfect neutral shade for every day wear, MAC Russian Red is a holiday staple for me, as is my Too Faced Melted Berry. The Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask in Maple is along for the ride to keep my lips hydrated and because the scent is so stinking delicious!

Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper, H&M Beauty lip primer, Make Up For Ever Glitter (25), MAC Brick lip liner, Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel crayon in Blacquer and Make Up For Ever Smoky Stretch
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper, H&M Beauty lip primer, Make Up For Ever Glitter (25), MAC Brick lip liner, Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel crayon in Blacquer and Make Up For Ever Smoky Stretch

Random assortment of items here… My Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper is a surefire liquid liner for all my travel purposes. I’ve got an H&M Beauty lip primer in there, a Make Up For Ever glitter (hello New Year’s!), MAC Brick lipliner, Marc Jacobs Highliner Gel Crayon in Blacquer and my favourite Make Up for Ever Smoky Stretch mascara.

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Another bit of a risk here… two medium to deep-toned blushes and no basic pink! Tarte Exposed has gotten a lot of love from me over the years (I’ve even hit pan on it!) and it a foolproof shade to match with the neutral eyeshadows I’ve packed. And of course, there’s my beloved Clinique Cola Pop. I can’t believe I haven’t worn the flower embossing down a bit more, I wear it constantly!

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And all of that is crammed into a medium sized Sephora makeup bag. Merry Christmas everyone!

My Vacation in Pictures – New York City 2015

I went to New York City for an extended weekend to visit some friends. Here’s a few shots from that trip!

Day 1 - Arrived in New York and headed straight out to the bar where we discovered that FORGTMENOT's mascot is actually an otter!
Day 1 – Arrived in New York and headed straight out to the bar where we discovered that FORGTMENOT’s mascot is actually an otter!
Day 2 - Got a lipstick made at the BITE Beauty Lip Lab, had amazing Mexican food at Toloache, hung out with Thida for the first time, discovered amazing Halloween cat stuff at Crate + Barrel, Escaped the Apartment in NYC and fell in love with Thida's cat.
Day 2 – Got a lipstick made at the BITE Beauty Lip Lab, had amazing Mexican food at Toloache, hung out with Thida for the first time, discovered amazing Halloween cat stuff at Crate + Barrel, Escaped the Apartment in NYC and fell in love with Thida’s cat.
Day 3 - Early morning run followed by chicken and waffles, went out to Governor's Island to... have drinks, went to a New York City FC game at Yankee Stadium.
Day 3 – Early morning run followed by chicken and waffles, went out to Governor’s Island to… have drinks, went to a New York City FC game at Yankee Stadium.
Day 4 - Visited the new World Trade Center and monument, discovered the Ghostmobile in Chinatown, fell in love with a blonde cat and shot a lot of pictures of the sculptures at 14th Street Station.
Day 4 – Visited the new World Trade Center and monument, discovered the Ghostmobile in Chinatown, fell in love with a blonde cat and shot a lot of pictures of the sculptures at 14th Street Station.
Day 5 - Flight back to Toronto, eating pumpkin spice pretzels bites and FINALLY remembering to pick up a tourist magnet from New York City.
Day 5 – Flight back to Toronto, eating pumpkin spice pretzels bites and FINALLY remembering to pick up a tourist magnet from New York City.